I have not written much about Apollo. He has been a really interesting foster. He is an intelligent, inquisitive, and free spirit. He gets into everything but he is not destructive. Compare him to Kira (my girl). Kira is the most well behaved dog I have ever seen but as a 9 month old puppy she chewed up the legs to an antique sewing table and I struggled to keep her in control just walking the property.
Kira is 100% Labrador and so her personality evolved exactly as expected. And she is the perfect companion for me. But she is near the end of her life and I will be devastated when she dies.
As I did with Bones (Mike’s beloved dog) I arranged to adopt Remy before Bones died. But Bones lived a lot longer than I expected so I ended up arranging to adopt Clifford to help in the transition. The strategy worked and the move from a lifelong companion was eased by moving to another companion that was similar in color and size.
Well… Kira is a dog that shares my soul. She is moody, grumpy, happy, affectionate, and determined. She is a mirror image of me. But she doesn’t have long left. I truly thought that she would die last year, but she pulled through.
I need a companion. I really need something that really adores me so that I have something to care for. Not just a random creature that I adopt but that doesn’t care in the least about me. I really need a creature that looks to me as the most important thing to their life and I look to them as the most important thing I must care for.
That relationship is really difficult to find. I have it with Kira to a limited degree. Kira appears to exist with no dependency on any other creature in life but she dislikes Mike significantly more than me so she stays with me. She doesn’t adore me or see me as anything more than the alpha that doesn’t hurt her. Mike gives her shots, gives her meds, and does the difficult things. I pet and love on her and so I am the most desirable protector. But she doesn’t adore me.
I never knew what it was like to have an animal that absolutely adored me until I had Darby. If you look back in my posts, Darby was one of the most difficult dogs we ever fostered. But he showed me something that I have never seen or felt before. Darby absolutely adored me and was so attached that his life revolved around me. I liked him a lot, but he created terrible problem in that he was so destructive. I hated caging him but he could not be let loose on his own.
Let’s not get me wrong here. I absolutely adored Darby. But he absolutely destroyed our home. You can read about what he did to the house. But no matter what he did, I loved him and loved his soul.
I have a chance with Apollo to fix the mistakes I made. This dog appears to be the exact incarnation of Darby in a different body. I mean, this personality is precisely Darby. He is ugly and cute at the same time. He is 9 months old, he adores me, he is uncontrollable, and in every way he is Darby except that he is not destructive.
It would be a very bad thing to adopt a dog because he reminded me of a dog that I let die in bad circumstances. But I do not think I am trying to recreate Darby in another dog. Apollo is unique. He is interesting, he is a free spirit (like Darby) and he seems to have a soul like Darby. But he is not Darby. He is a wrinkly terrier mix that walks upright and he doesn’t have the least desire for birds, squirrels, or groundhogs. He doesn’t care in the least of the chickens. He isn’t Darby.
But he has everything I loved in Darby and he seems to adore me. This will take a lot of work and a lot of patience, but this dog could something really great.
I love most all dogs. But it is rare that one really touches me so deeply as Darby or Apollo.
We call this a “foster failure” and well.. I am pleased with this failure.